Function and usage of get_registered_nav_menus() in wordpress


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    The get_registered_nav_menus() function in WordPress is used for retrieving all the registered navigation menu locations in a theme. This function is particularly useful in theme development and customization. Let's delve into its details and how it is typically used.

    Function: get_registered_nav_menus(): string[]


    • Retrieves Registered Navigation Menus: This function is used to get an associative array of all navigation menu locations that have been registered in a WordPress theme.

    Return Value

    • Type: string[] (Associative Array)
    • Contents: The array contains descriptions of registered navigation menu locations. The keys of the array are the menu location identifiers (like 'primary', 'footer', etc.), and the values are the descriptions of these locations.
    • Empty Array: If no navigation menus are registered, the function returns an empty array.

    Practical Usage in WordPress Theme Development

    1. Checking Registered Menus: A theme developer can use this function to check which menu locations are registered in the theme. This is useful for debugging or for dynamic theme features.

    2. Dynamic Menu Display: In a theme's template files, a developer might use get_registered_nav_menus() to programmatically list all available menu locations and their descriptions, perhaps in a theme settings page or a customizer option.

    3. Conditional Logic: It allows for conditional logic in the theme. For example, if a certain menu location is registered, the theme can display additional content or layout elements.

    Sample Usage

    Here's a basic example of how get_registered_nav_menus() might be used in a WordPress theme:

    $registered_menus = get_registered_nav_menus();
    if ( !empty($registered_menus) ) {
        echo "<ul>";
        foreach ( $registered_menus as $location => $description ) {
            echo "<li>Menu Location: {$location}, Description: {$description}</li>";
        echo "</ul>";
    } else {
        echo "No registered navigation menus found.";

    In this example, the function is used to retrieve all registered navigation menus. It then checks if the array is not empty and iterates through each menu, outputting its location and description in an unordered list. If no menus are registered, a message is displayed.

    Important Notes

    • This function is mostly used in the backend or during theme development and is not typically used for displaying menus on the front end (for that, wp_nav_menu() is used).
    • The function is a part of the WordPress Theme Customization API and is essential for developing flexible and dynamic themes.

    This detailed overview should help you understand the functionality and practical applications of get_registered_nav_menus() in WordPress theme development.

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